What is an LED Emergency Backup Driver?
Emergency LED Drivers are installed on LED light fixtures to provide backup power to the fixture in the event of a power outage or power disruption. Backup or Emergency LED drivers are designed for LED light fixtures that operate off a driver. The emergency LED driver regulates the power supplied to the LED fixture like a normal driver but instead of operating on line voltage, they operate off a battery in the event that the normal AC power goes out. Emergency LED drivers are required in many commercial buildings such as commercial businesses, schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping centers, or any other public venue which is required by national, state, and local codes.
How does an emergency LED driver work?
Emergency LED drivers are installed alongside the fixture's normal driver and will kick into action when the emergency driver senses a power outage. This transfer of power happens quickly enough where the lights generally don't even go out. The primary line power supply keeps the battery charged and ready to go in the event of power disruption. The Emergency LED driver provides enough power to light the fixture to allow illuminated egress in emergency situations for up to 90 minutes when fully charged.
How do you select the right LED Emergency Backup Driver?
Selecting the right emergency LED driver is important because using the wrong type of driver could wreck your LED light fixture. You will need to account for the voltage requirements, wattage requirements, environment requirements and size.
LED fixtures come with specified voltages which is critical that the flow of the output voltage from the emergency LED driver matches the requirements of the LED fixture. You can usually find the voltage requirement of the LED fixture on a label near or on the LED fixture driver. LED emergency drivers have two types of voltage associated with them: Input voltage and Output voltage. Input voltage is the rated voltage that the emergency LED driver can take in which is what keeps the battery charged. The output voltage is the voltage that the driver provides to the LED fixture that is being backed up. Most backup LED drivers have a voltage range indicated for output voltage which means any fixture with a voltage requirement within that range will work with that backup LED driver.
This refers to the output power from the emergency backup driver and determines how bright the light will shine in backup power situations. On backup power, the fixture will not shine as bright as normal operation but will shine enough to provide enough light to provide illumination for egress during an emergency. The higher the backup wattage, the brighter the backup light will be however, the backup wattage must not exceed the power rating of the light fixture it is backing up.
Backup LED drivers are essential life safety devices so ensuring proper environmental requirements such as IP and UL class rating for the LED emergency driver is just as important as ensuring the electrical specifications match. Consider the environment the battery backup is being installed and if it requires a specific IP rating for wet or dusty/dirty environments. Fixtures that are located outdoors should have an IP rating that is suitable against moisture while facilities that tend to have a lot of dust, dirt, or debris in the air may need to consider an IP rating that protects against solid objects or dust.
·LED Fixture Size
Be sure to check your LED fixture dimensions and/or the space where you plan to install the battery backup to pick a backup that will fit within that space. Emergency LED Drivers come in varying shapes, sizes, and installation methods so be sure to check which compatible emergency LED driver will be easiest to install with your LED fixture.
How do I connect my LED emergency Driver?
LED emergency drivers usually have several different color wires that need wired to AC line, the fixture LED driver, test switch, and LED lamps. Wiring diagrams are provided with each LED emergency driver to assist in connecting the many different wires together properly. It is advised that a licensed electrician complete the wiring of LED emergency drivers in order to properly comply with federal, state, and local codes.
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IMPORTANT: Emergency LED Drivers are an important part of the life safety system within a building. It is highly advised that a professional electrician install Emergency LED drivers in accordance with the National Electric Code (NEC), NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, OSHA, and local and state specific codes.